Corporate Flight Attendants are prepared for Everything!
As I was driving home from my annual recurrent safety training recently, I was thinking about the misconceptions people have about my industry, specifically what they think about corporate ( private jet) Flight Attendants. I don’t think the general public really understands what it entails for us to earn the credentials for this wonderful job.
Sometimes I hear people refer to corporate flight attendants as ” sky angels”, “air hostess, or even glorified waitresses”.. Well, In reality, it would be more accurate to call them superheroes! And since I am one of them, I say this with confidence.
We are trained for every potential disaster or mishap, we multitask beyond belief, we do about 5 jobs in one, and at times work up to 16 hours by ourselves. (AND still have the ability to keep ourselves looking impeccable through it all! )
First, although you see our position in the industry listed as “cabin attendants” , we are still “Flight Attendants “. Our emergency training is just as vigorous and detailed as a commercial flight attendant. ( and since I have worked on both sides, I know this to be a fact).
Training is mandatory for every flight corporate flight attendant out there. For our initial training, we go to a training center for about 5 days, 8-5. Then, every year we attend a 2 days recurrent training to stay, well “recurrent”!
We learn things like CPR/ First aid, how to treat many medical emergencies and illnesses. We learn to how to evacuate many different types of aircraft’s in all different circumstances. We are taught fire fighting techniques, how to secure a bomb found onboard, and now post 9/11: hijacking scenarios and self defense. Not only do we learn all of this in a classroom setting, we also learn hands on with a ” trainer aircraft”. Similar to a pilots simulator training, our “trainers” are designed to simulate real life conditions. They fill with smoke, make noise, and some actually shake. We go though drills that are as true to life as possible, and simulate many different types of emergencies, including water ditching (and yes this is taught and performed in actual water). The instructors test us in such a manner that forces us think on our feet. We all MUST pass these drills and written exams, in order to receive our certificates to work. I will add, that every year we return for recurrent training and re-certification.
Service and etiquette training
Adding to our emergency and safety trainings, we attend additional trainings where we are taught how to serve our VIP passengers. We are trained in fine dining service, culinary skills -including garnishing, actual cooking, re-plating , wine paring, and mixology. In addition, we learn proper social etiquette for working with high end clientele.
This, Is NOT taught in any commercial flight attendant training i have ever been though, though in my opinion it should be!
As corporate flight attendants, we do not only prepare and serve the meals, we are also the ones responsible for creating the menu and doing all the necessary shopping, catering, and ordering. ( please refer to one of my earlier blog on these specifics).
On the day of departure, We supply the aircraft with decorative items such as floral arrangements, a welcome table of goodies such as: assorted chocolate truffles, fruit and cheese trays, or welcome champagne. We make sure all requested periodicals are on board as well as carefully selected entertainment. The bathroom is even stocked with everything you could possibly need! ( and these toiletries are NOT from CVS).
Lastly, we gather flight information and weather reports and actually create a classy and creative display in the aircraft.
During the flight we are typically serving multiple passengers, engaging in all requested conversations, preparing entertainment, (and sometimes childcare)…Yes pretty much all at once.
Then, After all passengers have de-planed, we are detail cleaning the entire interior of the plane, and taking mental notes for restocking and improvements, for the next flight.
Although we usually have a few days or even a week at our passengers destination to enjoy our alone time, we are also preparing our menu and beginning our catering for the trip home.
Personally, sometimes I take this multitasking a few steps further and actually book the plane and make all accommodation arrangements for clients… as well as the above!
As you can see ( read), Corporate flight attendants pretty much do it all.
We may dress in a fashionable suit, cute heels, and makeup/ hair done to perfection, but we also wear those invisible capes while we work !
Cobblestones and Heels